Mark Sanchez’ historical run

Mark Sanchez isn’t the popular choice among quarterbacks entering championship weekend, but he is more accomplished than most. Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers, and Jay Cutler are Pro Bowl hurlers. Sanchez is not. The Steelers quarterback is also a two-time Super Bowl champion, while the Jets gunslinger  has never won his conference or division. But the second year player has achieved a level of success that seats him higher than two of the three, and one NFL statistic makes him greater than them all.

After just two years in the league, the Sanchize holds a 4-1 postseason record. Roethlisberger leads all quarterbacks this weekend with a 9-2 playoff mark, and was 5-1 after two seasons in Pittsburgh. A New York victory on Sunday would move Sanchez into a tie, and a Super Bowl win would better Big Ben’s sophomore mark. Rodgers and Cutler combine for just three playoff victories in their careers, all achieved during the current postseason run.

With four, Sanchez has already won more playoff games than any quarterback in Jets franchise history. Joe Namath was a postseason winner just twice, making only three appearances. Sanchez is also tied with three others for the most road playoff victories in NFL history, with the weekend presenting an opportunity to stand alone.

Roger Staubach collected 4 road playoff victories as a starter, in a Cowboys career spanning from 1969-1979. Len Dawson won 3 times with the Chiefs, picking up the other with the Dallas Texans. Jake Delhomme won four times in Carolina, and more recently, Joe Flacco picked up his fourth in the opening round against the Chiefs, before his Ravens were eliminated last week. Sanchez, with another victory, would break the tie and best them all.

Often criticized throughout the regular season, Sanchez has the opportunity to achieve six playoff victories after just two years in the league. And to put it more in perspective, with all the career accolades, Peyton Manning’s postseason triumphs amount to nine.

When the Jets selected Sanchez with the fifth overall pick of the 2009 draft, part of the reasoning was his ability to handle the pressure of bright lights and media, after performing on some of the biggest stages at USC. He was still raw, starting only 15 games for the Trojans, but was a project for the future that could manage an offense today.

Sanchez has a 92.2 career postseason passer rating. In comparison, Ben Roethlisberger (88.7), Peyton Manning (88.4), and Tom Brady (85.7) fall beneath him. And if the Jets can survive the trip to Heinz Field, Sanchez will have defeated all three on the playoff road.

This is obviously something Pete Carroll never envision when he called it a “mistake” for his junior quarterback leaving school early.  The four playoff  victories for the former Trojan are two greater than Carroll has earned in five years as an NFL head coach.


~ by Anthony on January 20, 2011.

One Response to “Mark Sanchez’ historical run”

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